Tag Archives: crochet

A little crocheting abroad

Last year in April I spent two weeks in Lyons for a professional training. I told you briefly about it in my post about a little treasure I found there. To do a little crafting as well, I searched my historical magazines for a small project that I could take with me and realise without too much of equipment.

I decided on a crocheted lace I found in the fashion magazine “Der Bazar” from January 1872, according to the title it is meant to be used on “underskirts and the like”. What I liked about it, was the combination of two colours, while only one is used to crochet, the second one just lies inside the stitches. The tutorial asked for two shades of brown castor wool (that means beaver’s wool) but as I didn’t want to buy anything new I went with cotton yarn in blue and red.

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Der Bazar, 29. Januar 1872

To crochet this lace wasn’t really fun at all. The loose lengths of yarn tended to tangle and the effect wasn’t nearly as neat as in the illustration. So it took me until a few weeks ago to finish what it less than 2y of lace and I’m still not too happy with the result and keep thinking about how to use it. Maybe a wool less slippery would improve the result, castor wool is said to be very fine and of high quality. I only know it felted into hats, so I have no idea how spun castor wool would look or feel like. Still, it was fun to recreate such an old tutorial and to see how it actually looks like when realised.

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Letztes Jahr verbrachte ich zwei Wochen des  Aprils auf einer Fortbildung in Lyon, kurz hatte ich letzten Juni davon erzählt, als ich über einen kleinen Bücherfund schrieb. Um abends die Hände etwas beschäftigen zu können, suchte ich vor meiner Abreise nach einem kleinen, reisefähigen Projekt, das ohne viel Ausrüstung realisierbar wäre.

Die Wahl fiel auf eine Häkelspitze aus dem “Bazar” vom 29. Januar 1872, laut Titel eine “Bordüre zur Garnitur von Unterröcken und dergl.” Vor allem die Idee, zwei verschiedene Farben zu kombinieren, aber nur mit einer davon wirklich zu häkeln und die zweite eher wie ein Durchzugband zu gebrauchen, gefiel mir. Die Anleitung forderte Castorwolle in zwei Brauntönen, da ich jedoch mit dem arbeiten wollte, was da war, wurde es Baumwollhäkelgarn in rot und blau. Castorwolle wird aus Biberfell gemacht, welches mir bisher nur als Material für Hüte bekannt war. Ich habe überhaupt keine Idee, wie dieses Haar versponnen aussehen würde.

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on a high resolution screen this photo proves I have a cat^^

Nun, so toll war das Projekt am Ende nicht. Die mitlaufenden Fäden sind immer im Weg und verheddern sich nach Lust und Laune und das Ergebnis sah lange nicht so sauber und eindrücklich aus wie in der Abbildung (der klassische “Serviervorschlag”-Effekt). Daher tat ich mich schwer damit, es abzuschliessen und brauchte tatsächlich bis letzten Monat für weniger als 2m, zufrieden bin ich immer noch nicht. Bügeln half etwas, trotzdem weiss ich noch nicht, wo ich die Spitze verwenden will. Vielleicht hätte eine weniger glatte Wolle das Ergebnis verbessert, Biberwolle soll sehr fein sein und verhält sich sicher anders als merzerisierte Baumwolle. Trotzdem war es ein nettes kleines Projekt, ich mag es ja gern, so alten Anleitungen wieder Leben einzuhauchen.

Falls ihr selber euer Glück versuchen wollt, ist das hier die Anleitung.

See you soon, love

ette

Some projects should remain unfinished…

Somehow I like sewing and working with fabric more than working with yarn, knitting or chrocheting. Funny thing is, I do crochet from time to time, always smaller projects and I do like it. I like to embroider, too. So maybe it is not because I don’t like it, but that I do it too occasionally to fall in love with.

All I can say is that passion hasn’t struck me yet, I hardly know how to knit and I don’t see me learning it properly in the near future.

In consequence this means that the majority of tutorials in my antique crafting (not sewing) magazines remain cryptic to me, as an estimated 95% are knitting tutorials.

To find a chrocheting project that is not toddler-sized or toddler-related is quite hard, if I recollect correctly I counted two or three projects in a whole stack of magazines. So my choice was quite limited.
in the end I went for the one I liked best, though I can’t say it intrigued me.

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pattern consists only of double crochet and front post double crochet, so quite simple actually.

To make this cardigan you are asked to enlarge the pattern scheme on the top left to its original size and chrochet after this drawing so that it fits the pattern, decreasing and increasing as needed. Sounded as if I could handle that.
Because it was measured to fit a size 46 (way too large for me) I altered it quite heavily. And maybe I exagerated a little with the waist circumference and the waist-hip-ratio, you’ll see later.

In hindsight I should have foreseen that this project was doomed. First, the only wool I had enough of (I didn’t want to buy new wool for this test run) was a structured cotton-viscose-wool in white and bright green. This meant I had to make stripes because otherwise it wouldn’t suffice. A white and green striped jacket, I mean…seriously?

Second, the cover. Sorry, but this baby freaks me out (relieving it isn’t staring at me and points its gorgon-eyes at someone else). And this naked doll plunging upside down beside it, oh dear…evil.

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Frauen-Fleiss (=women’s diligence), issue 7 (march), volume 1942/3

And the last hint, I felt it very early. May I quote myself, this is what I wrote about this project as early as ten months ago:

Mh, and there is this hilarious crocheted pullover, I am not sure I even want to complete.

Well, what should I say. I kept on working on it until a couple of months ago. Now in the new flat I stumbled over it and put it on my dress form.

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ummm…any questions left? Hilarious hits it, doesn’t it? Or would awkward be a better word for this?

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Is it only me who finds this bookshelf-backround distrackting? I should search for another photo-location…
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Oh, but I have been searching for this cat-shaped timer for weeks. Hooray for distracting backgrounds!

Here you see what I meant with a too sharp waist-hip-ratio. First it looks odd with the ridges and second it seems to be too large at the hips, the hem is dropping quite poorly on the sides (not to mention that this is in no way a 40ies waistline).

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The shoulderseams are very (read too) narrow stretching the armhole into a very pointy shape on the shoulder and the sleeves aren’t even started off with.

So this is the biggest appearance this dissipation of (admittedly ugly) yarn has ever had and will ever get. Because I have come to the conclusion it would be the best to simply throw it away.

And to draw at least something positive from this project, I searched for better tutorials in this Frauen-Fleiss-issue to share with you.
First, a cute idea for children, a bowling game made from waste. The pins on the left are made from empty cleaning powder packages, today you could use the ones from Pringles eg. (at least here in Europe the vast majority of cleaning products is liquid and doesn’t come in cardboard tubes anymore). The pins on the lower left are made of empty thread spools. A shame these wooden spools aren’t that common anymore, they look great as pins.
What I find most interesting is how the balls are made. One is an old stocking filled with wadding or sawdust and completey covered with large buttonhole stitched to stabilize it. The other one is made by covering a little rock with wet and scrunched up newspapers. Smooth the surface and let it dry in the bright sunlight. Afterwards cover it with yarn as the drawing shows. This sounds as it could be a pretty heavy and painful ball, depending on the rock’s size and how hard you scrunch the paper.

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click to see full size

And the second one, handbags to fit your suit or coat, made from leftover fabric. Though I always thought the handbag doesn’t have to match the coat, but the shoes 😛

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click to see full size

So much for today, hope the next crocheting project will be more successful,
love,

ette